We are keen to work closely and proactively with parents, members of the local community and other agencies. At the same time, our most fundamental duty is to protect the safety and welfare of all our pupils. In order to do this we must establish effective policies and procedures for managing the risks presented by adults to children. Part of the management of these risks is to make sure that we make the necessary checks on all visitors before they enter the school.
Schools are not open places to which any member of the public is entitled to right of access. The school must satisfy themselves that all visitors, no matter who they are, pose no risk to children. Pupils, staff, governors and parents do not have unrestricted right of access to the school but in light of their employment or connection with the school will have identification and follow safeguarding procedures managed by the school.
The guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 is adhered to; in line with part three of the guidance, governing bodies and proprietors should prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check staff who work with children, taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond what is required; and ensuring volunteers are appropriately supervised.
The School does not have the power to request or ask to see DBS certificates and barred list information for visitors.
Visitors’ Protocol at Charles Darwin School
- Staff should notify reception if they have arranged for a visitor to come in on a particular day from 7.30am to 4.00pm, their time of arrival and their purpose of visit.
- Staff should make reception aware of where they are likely to be when their visitor arrives to enable them to be notified promptly for collection.
- The main gate is monitored to ensure all visitors come to main reception prior to coming further onto site.
- All visitors are required to sign in on arrival at main reception.
- All visitors are required to sign out of the school on departure, providing this is before reception closes at 3.30pm. If after this time, visitor badges should be posted through the letter box on reception or given to a member of staff when leaving the site.
- Visitors who are professionals from external agencies or contractors will be asked for some form of identification on their first visit. It is the responsibility of the member of staff arranging the visit to ensure that their visitor is aware of this requirement. These visitors will then report to reception to collect a visitor’s badge and to sign in and out from then on.
- All visitors are required to wear a visible ‘visitors badge’ once they have signed into school.
- Visitors are required to be met and escorted from reception unless they are a known professional who is recognised by the receptionist as one who has worked in the school previously.
- Visitors should be supervised at all times whilst on site. This includes people who are speaking in assemblies or presenting to classes. They are not permitted to speak to children unless a member of staff is present unless this has been authorised in advance by the designated teacher.
- Cases of unsupervised conversations with a visiting professional could be with the Police or Social Services if identification has been shown and the designated teacher is aware.
- Parents will also be required to sign in and out if having meetings on the school site. However, it is not practical to sign in large groups of parents eg award assemblies, so discretion will be shown in these circumstances. Groups such as this will be welcomed when coming into the school building and supervised at all times.